THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has raised the red tide warning in four areas in the country – the third time this month – because of persistent high temperatures brought about by the El Nino phenomenon.
In its Shellfish Bulletin No.17-2015, BFAR announced to the public that harvested shellfish and other fish species from the coastal waters of Balite Bay in Mati, Davao Oriental; Mandaon in Masbate; and Dauis in Bohol are still positive for paralytic shellfish poison that is beyond the regulatory limit.
BFAR also said that coastal waters of Irong-irong Bay and Cambatutay in Western Samar are now positive for the red tide toxin.
On Friday, BFAR warned the public from catching and consuming shellfish from coastal waters after testing positive for red tide toxin, adding that all types of shellfish and acetes or “alamang” gathered and collected from the areas are not safe for human consumption.
BFAR, however, said that several species – including fish, shrimps and crabs – are safe to eat provided they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking.
Other major fishing grounds in the country, besides the aforementioned areas, continued to be unaffected by the toxins.
Red tide occurs when an algae rapidly increases in numbers to the extent that it dominates the local planktonic or benthic community. Blooms are caused by environmental conditions that promote explosive growth.
Such high abundance can result from explosive growth caused by a metabolic response to a particular stimulus or from the physical concentration of a species in a certain area due to local patterns in water circulation, warm sea surface temperatures and high nutrient content.